Monday, August 31, 2009

marit has the ball

and graham wants it.

being a little brother is no picnic!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

marit and her...

"ponytoy." her hair is otherwise all in her eyes and i still can't bring myself to cut it. i'm told i used to call it a "ponytatle." she often requests it and it think it is adorable. in other news, last night marit was eating a somewhat new combination of foods: rice, cooked almonds, spinach, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, onions. i was unsure of how it would go, but she took a bite and i said, "you like that marit?" she said clear as a bell: "not bad, not bad" and then ate almost the entire plate full. she is so conversational lately. i love to hear her saying such adult expressions...sometimes she says "let's see here." i say that one a lot. or "alright everybody!" another favorite of mine...these moments of adorableness are so important to balance out the two-year old troubles as well. i'm reading Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp again (i forgot to finish it last time) to remind myself of what i'm doing. i do not want her to be a trained monkey, but i want to get at her heart, to help her confront her sin of selfishness and impatience and to look to Jesus for rescue. i long for her to worship God, not herself...i recommend this book to all padres.

three posts sometimes happen in one sitting when the kids actually take naps simultaneously, i was able to spend time with the Lord this morning before they awoke, and adam is on call for 30 hours over the weekend. happy saturday friends!

cooking with plums

since my parents visited last weekend and brought lots of fresh fruit (my dad is a horticulturist and breeds peaches and plums), we have been doing a good bit of cooking with fruit. we made one peach cobbler and have enough peaches saved to make another one. i also discovered that pork chops were on sale at publix this week. i do not know how to cook pork. we eat it maybe twice a year, but these chops seemed relatively lean and we have been heavy on the poultry lately. besides, nothing says "i love you" to adam better than cooking a new recipe....especially if it looks like this:

you can find the recipe here.

it was delicious! my mom also left some plum sauce/jelly in our fridge, so i made my mom's delicious plum spice cake, which i finished for breakfast today (why yes, i do have a degree in nutrition and occasionally eat dessert for breakfast. is that bad?)

want that recipe too?

Plum Cake
mix together in small bowl:
7/8 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup plum sauce (can also use apple sauce or babyfood plums)

set oven at 350, grease 9x9 pan (double for 9x13)

sift into medium bowl
1 3/4 cup flour (or flour and oat bran, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, whatever your favorite combo is, though ap flour will give you the most cakey result)
1t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1t cinnamon
1/2 t ground cloves (or allspice)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional, but i LOVE it with walnuts)

stir wet ingredients into dry and mix well, pour into pan. bake for 40 minutes or until center of cake springs back when touched gently.

goes really well with vanilla ice cream.

a sweet surprise...

as my mom says, it's a "family challenge" to surprise me. i do not like surprises if i know they are coming and i almost always know because people act weird when they are lying. i usually know most gifts my family gives me. they act like it is so annoying, but i think they don't try very hard to keep secrets from me. this time it all started with tom and kelly coming back for the weekend for a little more research. i told adam that we should have the figgins over too since we had to cancel on them recently due to crappy residency hours...then i thought...a picnic to get adam some sunshine. i expected adam to be excited, but instead with a suspicious look said that "we should stay home." ok party pooper. then kelly and adam kept giggling about something in the kitchen and adam kept getting random phone calls that he denied.

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finally, my parents showed up. surprise! they came to visit for the weekend too and i was so excited to show them our house for the first time and for them to meet pax. i was also excited for the fresh peaches and plums that suddenly covered my kitchen counters. yum! my mom loves snuggling graham.
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20 minutes later the doorbell rang. adam said "oh ellen, the stroller. will you get it? it's a lady with a stroller who wants some food. you should talk to her since it is a woman." ok, a woman asking for food is not altogether unusual in our neighborhood, but why did you start off talking about a stroller? guess who was really there? sweet charlotte! did i mention that when i showed my parent the kids room, she said: :"oh, charlotte can sleep there." i thought, "when? at thanksgiving?" i was really surprised this time. wasn't it so clever for them to split the surprise in two?

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charlotte moved from our city to new york city to intern with storycorps. i'm super proud of her, but i LOVED having her live closeby and we all really miss her.

we had a blissful 18 hours or so together...eating dinner, walking to church together, sitting and catching up.
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char stayed with us a few more days since her boyfriend lives down the street from us. we even caught a long run together! she is one of my favorite people to run with since we easily fall into the same rhythm. and it is always a treat to run without the jogging stroller...did i tell you that i'm running a 10k in september and hopefully a half-marathon in most of our days begin like this:

my jogger can convert from strolling wheels that swivel and keep it pretty compact
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to sturdy, three-wheeled jogger.

it can also hook up to a bike as a trailer, be used cross-country skiing, or hiking. we don't do any of these activities yet, but when graham turns one, we might start biking as a family.

anyway, thanks family for the surprise! it was really great to see charbar and to be together a bit. we missed abe and bethany though!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

music for thursday

i told you i would not be able to keep up a routine...thursday instead of monday this week. i love this gilian welch song the way over the rhine does it. a sweet friend came over yesterday to have a "voice lesson," which is really just fun singing and hanging out time (with a few pointers here and there) and then she babysits for me! how awesome is that? anyway, we sang this song at the end and i was reminded of how much i love it...traditional folk song with heavenward eyes...i think i'm going to try to keep up guitar playing so that i can be a folk/rock star like karin berquist. or maybe i'll just end up playing old mcdonald had a farm all day. either way, should be fun!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is sustaining grace?

"not grace to bar what is not bliss, nor flight from all distress. but this: the grace that orders our trouble and pain and then in the darkness is there to sustain." john piper

i love that. that is our God who provides such grace. my ipod is usually on shuffle in my kitchen and so sometimes it runs across a sermon by one of my favorites...piper, keller, driscoll, or robertson. for some reason it has played this one by piper about sustaining grace two days in a row and i need to hear this Gospel that does not promise a life of comfort and ease, but does sustain us. my life is not especially hard at the moment, but i can become short-sighted and forget that all of life and its day to day grind is sovereignly ordained by my good Savior to sustain and keep my faith for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God.

i just finished reading "The Prodigal God" by tim keller. go read this book. it is such a careful and winsome look at the parable of the two sons (also known as the Prodigal Son). he makes the point that the parable is just as much about the older son who does everything "right" as it is about the younger who squanders away his inheritance with carnal living. both sons are distanced from the Father-because no matter how hard we try, doing it all "right" is still not good enough and shot-through with brokenness and sin. the Father in the parable (representing God, of course) is "prodigal" in that He recklessly pours His grace out for both of them. keller then talks about how the human race is really a tribe of exiles...longing for home...which is where our Father is. i loved this book...i'd post some memorable quotes, but i already loaned it out.

name the artist:
In every station, new trials and troubles call for more grace than I can afford
Where can I go but to my dear Savior for mercy that pours from boundless stores
Grace upon grace every sin repaired every void restored, you will find Him there
In every turning He will prepare you with grace upon grace
He made a way for the fallen to rise.
Perfect in glory and sacrifice. In sweet communion, my need He supplies grace that keeps and guards my life
To Thee I run now with great expectations to honor you with trust like a child
My hopes and desires seek a new destination and all that you ask, your grace will provide.

Monday, August 10, 2009

music for monday

maybe i'll post a little music every monday. maybe not...i tend to be really good at breaking routines. my sister introduced me to the avett bros a while back. i enjoy them because they are true mountain boys, they have wives and families, and really great beards. they are coming to our city next month and adam and i are going to go for his 30th (my ancient husband) birthday. adam will probably get beard envy and grow his back out...anyway, i like this song mostly for the last line. i think it is beautiful...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a little family update-long and random

my brother and his sweet little family was here for two weeks. it was truly providential timing as adam was sooooo busy on his cardiology rotation. i loved having the sis-in-law and i had so many good conversations about parenting, marriage, life in general. it was truly an edifying couple of you guys!

pax has been settling into the family. he is so sweet and a little bit annoying at times. marit goes from laughing hysterically at him to crying because he is carrying away her toy in his mouth. golden retrievers want to carry around everything in their mouths. going from a cat family to a dog family has been a big change and this pretty much sums up the differences. pax and i made a good team today as we disposed of what i hope is the last mouse (we have steadily been catching a little family). thank goodness it was dead when he found it, but i quivered and squirmed...i'm learning to be a little more self-reliant about these things.

marit has been singing the alphabet song non-stop and when she does stop it is so she can ask me to sing psalm 23 or the "shepuhd song." two-year oldness is in its prime as she swings from sheer delight to absolute hoodlum. we pray every day for wisdom and grace to teach (and to demonstrate) kindness, unselfishness, grace, patience. oh my! the sin nature is the both of us, but we are thankful for the glimmers of hope we see on occasion. she is also absolutely hilarious lately. did i mention that she threw her pacifier in the trash can so she can be a "big gurl"? she sleeps with several animals instead. i went to get her out of the crib in the morning the other day and she said "puppy's eating" while she held her puppy close to her. "nursing" she said...she would not let me get her out until she was "all done." pretend play is in full swing...too cute!

graham has been recovering from some mysterious virus and has been a little off-kilter lately...not eating well in the day and waking up at night again...another phase of sleeplessness for mom and dad:). he is still inch-worming everywhere and he is fast. he has also started pulling up, which is absolutely think i will have two munchkins walking around soon. he eats everything he sees...the other day he spit up an entire leaf...this stage really scares me. i'm so thankful that God loves my children more than i ever could and that He watches over them. his huge chocolate brown eyes melt my heart pretty much all the time.

adam has been really excelling in his rotations is encouraging for him to feel like he is in the right field. don't get me wrong, his days are filled with a lot of humiliation as well, so the good moments mean all the more. he ran his first code this weekend and it went well and the patient survived! i struggle to be gracious with the unpredictability of his schedule. i know in my head that i need to keep my expectations realistic, but it is no easy task. last night he was supposed to get off at 7, but he got something like 9 admissions between 5 and 7 and so did not get home until midnight. what time did he leave this morning? 4:30am. grace, grace, grace is what we need in this season. it has been there too...we are not disconnected and we still actually (somehow) get to talk to each other and see one another. i am really not complaining...just explaining. it is a true blessing to be in a sweet community of people who have (or are currently) dealt with a spouse in residency. it encourages me just to think of all the families that have successfully made it through stronger and more loving than ever!